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Four Ohio Seniors Selected Presidential Scholars

Release date: 5/7/2013

COLUMBUS, OH – Four Ohio high school seniors were announced this week as Presidential Scholars. Kevin Hwang, Athens High School, The Plains; Alyssa M. Bryan, Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights; Drake S. Thomas, Dublin Coffman High School, Dublin; and Sean M. Howe, Toledo School for the Arts, Toledo join the 49th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars announced by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The four Ohio seniors join just 141 high school seniors across the United States who were recognized for their accomplishments in academics or the arts.

“Ohio is proud of these four outstanding students and proud of the schools, teachers and communities that encouraged and motivated them to be successful,” said Richard A. Ross, superintendent of public instruction. “In Ohio, we are setting high expectations for all students knowing that they will reach and surpass those expectations. These four Presidential Scholars prove what you can accomplish when you set high goals.”

"Presidential Scholars demonstrate the accomplishments that can be made when students challenge themselves, set the highest standards and commit themselves to excellence," Duncan said. "I'm honored to celebrate their creativity, hard work, and community service, and I encourage them—and all students—to continue to showcase the capacity for greatness in our nation's young people."

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Obama, selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the three million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 3,300 candidates qualified for the 2013 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers or the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts™ competition.

The 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 6,000 of the nation's top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts.

The 2013 ceremony will be held June 16, when each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion. A complete list of 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars follows and also is available here.